Make no mistake about it: It's been a tough year so far for Green Thumb Industries (OTC:GTBI.F) shareholders. The stock plunged more than 60% at one point and is still down 18% year to date. But the rebound that started in mid-March could now accelerate.

Green Thumb Industries announced its first-quarter results after the market closed on Thursday. Here are three things you'll really like about the cannabis company's Q1 update.

Cannabis leaf on top of $100 bills

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Soaring revenue

GTI announced revenue in Q1 of $102.6 million, a year-over-year jump of 267.6% and a quarter-over-quarter increase of 35.4%. This year-over-year growth even topped the company's strong performance in the fourth quarter of 2019. The cannabis operator generated revenue in 12 states during the first quarter, but two of them -- Illinois and Pennsylvania -- were especially important growth drivers.

Illinois, GTI's home state, opened its adult-use recreational marijuana market at the start of the year. CEO Ben Kovler said that the company enjoyed "strong consumer demand" during the quarter despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the latter part of Q1.

GTI's growth wasn't just from its newly opened stores, though. In the 14 stores that were open for at least 12 months, sales jumped more than 75% year over year. Same-store sales in the 33 stores that were open in both the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 increased by 24% quarter over quarter. 

2. Strong EBITDA growth

Sure, Green Thumb Industries posted a net loss in Q1 of $4.2 billion, or $0.02 per share, but this reflected significant improvement from the previous quarter. And the company continued to report good news with its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA).

GTI reported EBITDA for the first quarter of $20.3 million. This reflected strong growth from EBITDA of $7.8 million in the previous quarter and was much better than the EBITDA loss of $10.4 million in the prior-year period.

The company announced Q1 adjusted operating EBITDA of $25.5 million. That's nearly double GTI's adjusted operating EBITDA of $13.8 million in the previous quarter. The company recorded an adjusted operating EBITDA loss of $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2019.

3. Bright prospects ahead

While GTI delivered positive results in the first quarter, perhaps the most encouraging news for investors is that the future prospects for the marijuana stock look even brighter. 

One reason for optimism about GTI's growth is the new stores that the company has opened. During the first quarter, GTI opened two new stores in Illinois and one new store in Pennsylvania. These additions bring the total number of stores in each state to seven and 10, respectively.

Since the end of the first quarter, the company has opened a new store in Ohio and another one in Nevada. GTI now has 44 stores across the U.S. that are open and holds licenses to open another 52 retail cannabis stores. 

But is there a reason to worry about the COVID-19 pandemic? Probably not. Cannabis stores have been declared essential businesses in many states. And in the important Illinois market, cannabis sales continued to grow in April despite lockdowns due to the coronavirus outbreak.

As the states in which GTI operates relax stay-at-home restrictions, the company's sales should improve even more.